I was shopping the other day and I noticed a bewildering array of Advent calendars each one containing twenty-four treats. I thought I’d do a short post on how I’ve seen Advent calendars changing.
When I was a young child, back in the 1950s, we had an Advent calendar. We had the same one for years. It had windows with what we thought were delightful little pictures behind the little card doors. The biggest one, right in the centre, had a picture of baby Jesus in the manger and I remember the picture being coloured in a lovely yellowy glow. We knew what was coming on Christmas Eve when we opened that double door (the other days had single door flaps) but we never, ever peeped during the preceding days. Our calendar was about A4 size and was a picture of a church window. I remember a grey stone colour and other colours for the stained glass window. I have found some photos of the sort of calendar we had – which was the only kind around at that time. We loved it and getting it out on the first day of December was SO exciting!
An assortment of 1950s Advent calendars which resemble our well-loved one at home.
When my children were young, in the 1980s, I also had an Advent calendar for them which we got out each year. At some point in the 70s or 80s somebody had the idea of selling calendars with chocolates in which seemed all wrong to me at the time. It meant the anticipation felt by children in December became focused on the next day’s chocolate. Anyway, that’s just my personal feeling, many of you will disagree!
The now standard chocolate Advent calendar.
What I wanted to cover in this post was the evolution of Advent calendars from simple card ones with pictures, to the chocolate ones, the ones with toys, hand-made ones where parents put their own surprises in the pockets, through to calendars made for adults and containing beer, wine, toiletries, spirits, expensive food items etc etc. There are even Advent calendars for pets.
Quality chocolates Tea
An assortment of what’s on sale this year
Advent calendars for dogs, cats, hamsters, gerbils and rabbits
I don’t disagree at all. In fact, at risk of sounding like a grumpy old woman, I’ll say “Shameful” – the modern Advent calendars are all about consumption. I too remember our cardboard one that was brought out every Christmas, and what fun it was.
I’m so glad you agree! I thought I really might sound like a grumpy old woman so it’s nice to know I’m not alone.
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Had forgotten about the cardboard ones but we did have them!!!
Definitely no chocolate ones in the 50s!!!!
Why do some things always have to be changed? I would suppose that many .. if not most, don’t realize the significance of ‘Advent Calendars’… as you say; only that it’s a countdown to Christmas.. with chocolate treats… Diane